As the educational landscape slowly turns to a completely digital and paperless classroom, we are often asking ourselves about the best methods and technologies that are available to collect and curate both teacher and student created content.

The Portfolio has certainly evolved since I was a new teacher.  I was required to put together 3 major reflections on my years accomplishments when I first arrived at my current position.  I have vivid memories of purchasing two 4 inch 3-ring binders and filling them with evidence of my professional growth.  This was a very difficult task for a music teacher who even at that time was a digital native.  How do you demonstrate your professional worth when everything you do is created at the moment a bow crosses a string and instantaneously disappears a brief moment later.

Luckily teachers and students today do not have to worry about killing dozens of trees or spending hours carefully slipping printouts of websites into 3-ring plastic sheet protectors. (ah.. the memories)  Today, teachers and students have several options at their disposal to create online digital portfolios.  I have been a big fan of each of these methods and can honestly say that there is no one “best method” for creating a digital portfolio.  It is all personal preference. Depending on your needs, and more important based on the way you think about organization, each of these methods are very valid methods of collecting, curating, and more importantly creating digital content.

In this look at digital portfolios, we will examine how each of these portfolio methods look and feel and more importantly why you should and should not choose them in both the school and personal settings.

Kidblog

Quite often, I am asked the question “What is the best student blogging platform?” Other times I am asked the question “What is the best platform for students to create digital portfolios?  For each of these questions, I start off by explaining that Kidblog is the single best digital resource for students in grades 3-8.

Why is Kidblog Great for Digital Portfolios?

Kidblog is a FREE blogging platform.  Teachers can create a single account and set up multiple classes, each with unique themes and widgets.  Signing students up is as easy as providing a code where students can access the website and sign in themselves or you can create accounts for each student.

Upgrades are available to access the premium features such as larger storage and GAfE integration.

Kidblog Resources

Kidblog is the single best digital resource for students in grades 3-8. Click To Tweet

Evernote

One of the most underrated and most used apps in all education is Evernote.  I truly believe that it is the second best app that I carry with me on my iPhone.  For Free, evernote allows the curation and digital collection of all of your documents, PDF’s, audio, video, movies, and websites.

Why is Evernote Great for Digital Portfolios?

Evernote makes a great digital portfolio because very quickly, you can create a notebook, and organize all of your resources.  Because Evernote is cloud based and syncs with all of your devices, you can send a link to your note or notebook very easily through email or any of your social media channels.

Evernote Resources

Evernote makes a great digital portfolio because very quickly, you can create a notebook, and organize all of… Click To Tweet

WordPress

For many educators WordPress is their blogging platform of choice.  For many educators, WordPress is the single most used web application in their digital toolbox.

On the surface, WordPress.com and EduBlogs are free platforms for educators to setup a digital portfolio.  WordPress can be a single home for your thoughts, ideas, and photos.

When looking to turn WordPress into a fully functioning Digital Portfolio, it is suggested to be working on a self-hosted “WordPress.org” site.

Why is WordPress Great for Digital Portfolios?

Once you connect WordPress with a hosting account such as GoDaddy or BlueHost, the “.org” site because a Content Management System.  If you think of your website as a filing cabinet and not a blogging platform you can ultimately create any type of digital portfolio you can imaging using one of a few hundred thousand free and premium themes and plugins.

WordPress Resources

For many educators, WordPress is the single most used web application in their digital toolbox. Click To Tweet

Google Sites

If your school district is a Google Apps for Education School, your best bet for Digital Portfolios is a system of Google Sites.  Google Sites are FREE resources that tap into the power and collaboration of the GAfE network.

Why are Google Sites Great for Digital Portfolios?

By creating a Google Site, students have the ability to create a unique online home for their assignments. Using the power of Google Gadgets and Google Add-ons, Sites pages can be created to integrate with and embed your Google Docs and Google Slides.   Although the official storage capacity of a Google Site is 100mb, the addition of content stored in Google Drive allows you to create an unlimited amount of content on your site.

How are students using Google Sites as Digital Portfolios?

With more school districts creating Google Sites for students at an early age, students now have a collection of their homework and projects for the full length of their high school career.  The addition of Google Classroom this year has created even more a need for a unified portfolio system.  Using Google Sites, it is very easy to embed a Google Doc or even a Google Folder on a Sites page.

For a complete demonstration on Google Sites, please check out the video above.

Google Sites Resources

By creating a Google Site, students have the ability to create a unique online home for their assignments. Click To Tweet

Do you have a favorite method for creating Digital Portfolios that I didn't mention on this list? Leave a comment below and suggest other sources for TeacherCast to look at and review.

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